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Crudités with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing


“This punchy anchovy-based dressing — similar to the Italian classic bagna cauda — is a year-round favorite of mine and easy to whip up from the sort of ingredients you’re likely to have in your pantry and fridge,” writes Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in “River Cottage Every Day” (Ten Speed Press, $32.50), a cookbook devoted to eating good food prepared from fresh, seasonal ingredients.

“It’s a superb accompaniment to all kinds of vegetables — raw or cooked,” he says. “I love it as a dip for crummy summer crudités, but I also serve it as a dressing for steamed broccoli, cauliflower and kale. it will keep happily in a jar in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. It will probably separate, but can be re-emulsified by shaking or whisking.”

It would never last in my refrigerator long enough to separate.

Crudités with Garlic and Anchovy Dressing

Dressing:
2 anchovy fillets, drained
2/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Leaves from a sprig of thyme
A few fresh basil leaves (optional)
1/2 small red chile or a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Dijon or English mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar or wine vinegar
A few grindings of black pepper

Crudités:
A selection of raw baby vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, beets, lettuce hearts, radishes, fresh young peas in pods and tender celery hearts

For the dressing: simply blend anchovies, oil, garlic, thyme, basil, if using, red pepper, mustard, vinegar and black pepper together in a blender until completely smooth. or, if you are using fresh chile, you might prefer to chip it finely by hand, then stir it into the blended dressing to give it a little texture.

Let the dressing stand for half an hour or so to allow the flavors to mingle and develop, then transfer to a bowl.

Prepare the crudités: Halve or quarter lengthwise the lettuce hearts and larger baby vegetables, such as zucchini and carrots. Leave the smaller ones, such as pea pods and radishes, whole.Arrage them on a platter and serve with the dressing.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

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Grilled Cornbread Dressing with Sweet Sausage


Grilled Cornbead Dressing with Sweet Sausage

Fire up the grill to make your next bowl of dressing.

Grilled Cornbread Dressing with Sweet Sausage

12 ounces mild (usually labeled ‘sweet’) Italian sausage
2 large red bell peppers
6 large cornbread muffins
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, chopped
A handful of fresh sage leaves, chopped
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock

Set up grill for direct grill method. Add soaked wood chips to the fire.

Grill sausage over direct heat until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. Cut into thin slices, and set aside.

Roast peppers over direct heat until completely charred and skins blister. Place in a bowl and cover. Set aside for 10 minutes, then chop.

Grill cornbread muffins on all sides until lightly charred. Crumble and set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium sauce pan. Add the onions and cook, stirring for about 10 minutes or until soft and caramelized.

In a large mixing bowl, add crumbled cornbread, sage, chopped peppers, thinly sliced grilled sausage, and caramelized onion and combine well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and chicken stock. Pour mixture over the cornbread. Stir dressing together, spoon into buttered baking dish and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 300 degrees.

Garnish with chopped parsley.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

From Garrett Stephens/The County Line

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Griffin to Go: A Thanksgiving Feast for Diabetics


DiabeticTG-3

“You’re sublime.
You’re a turkey dinner.
You’re the time
Of a derby winner.”

“You’re the Top,” Cole Porter

I can’t begin to list the myriad things for which I’m grateful this year. So many blessings fall under the categories of family, friends, health and general welfare that I’m constantly humbled by the magnitude of them.

DiabeticTG-6But one item high on the list was the chance to share an early Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, one of my sisters, her husband and my nephew.

That may strike some of my friends as odd. They know that the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is not one of my favorites. All that brown food. The narcoleptic bloat that comes from overeating. I didn’t get it.

Well, maybe my body got it. When I was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, I noticed that the Thanksgiving dishes I most avoided, such as dressing, were the ones that were the most laden with carbohydrates.

So, this year, I decided to make a more diabetic-friendly Thanksgiving meal, one with plenty of fall flavor but without all the harm.

It’s doubly important in my family since my father also lives with diabetes, and my nephew is a carb-addict who limits his meals largely to mashed potatoes, bread and a tiny bit of meat.

DiabeticTG-5

Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing (click for recipe)

Diabetes is different in each person. In me, the carb content, no matter the fiber content, causes my blood sugar to skyrocket. So, no pasta, no rice, no potatoes. Bread has to be limited and kept to certain kinds. Sugar actually affects my blood sugar level less than these other foods.

So, how do you translate that kind of limitation into dressing, which was created as a means of finding a new use for stale, old bread? That was the hardest challenge. Friends told me they had had breadless stuffings before, but that didn’t seem right. I thought about what I did like in some dressings: sausage, onions, celery. A great start. I sautéed them up and added apple and just a little cornbread.

Mashed potatoes in my parents’ home is a staple, and my mom made up a large pot, largely for my nephew. But I also did mashed cauliflower, which tastes enough like mashed potatoes to make believers out of my dad, a cauliflower hater. Adding a little bacon helped.

Cran

Holiday Cran-Raspberry Sauce (click for recipe)

Bacon was also featured in the sautéed cabbage, made bright with a touch of ground coriander. Asparagus, no longer limited to spring time, was roasted under the broiler at the last-minute.

The menu was easy, but could I get everything done on time? That’s the challenge all of us face on Thanksgiving. I made a time line and faced the drawback I generally face when I’m cooking for others: I couldn’t wait to get started.

The day before, I made the cran-raspberry sauce, the only sugar to be included in the meal and an item I would have to ration wisely, though the flavor and freshness of this dish makes it tremendously appealing. I also had to rinse the turkey in cold water for a long while because it wasn’t thawing quickly enough in a too-cold refrigerator.

The day we got together, I started with the turkey. Rinsing and drying it is always the way to start. Then I borrowed a technique from my colleague, Bonnie Walker, who made her turkey last year as if she were roasting a chicken. That meant cranking the oven up to 450 degrees and roasting the turkey, breast side up, at that high heat until the tips of the wings started to get dark, maybe 30 minutes. The heat was then lowered to 350 degrees where it roasted until finished.

DiabeticTG-2

Mashed Cauliflower (click for recipe)

The end result was a turkey with an ultra-crisp skin (perhaps my favorite part) and juicy meat inside. I was roasting a Butterball, so basting was not needed; but the bird did cook more quickly than it would have had it been roasted only at 350 degrees. It was ready about 20 minutes before the rest of the dinner was, which is fine, because you want it to rest before serving.

While the turkey was roasting, I started preparing the cauliflower, followed by the dressing, which went together too quickly. It ended up staying warm in the oven for more than an hour. The cabbage followed, with the asparagus going in the oven after we said our prayers, so it could cook while the rest of the food was served.

The last touch was to strain the pan drippings, rather than stirring in carb-heavy flour for gravy.

DiabeticTG-4

Sautéed Cabbage With Bacon (click for recipe)

It was Thanksgiving all right. Too much food to fit on the plate. Seconds and thirds and even fourths. But there was a difference. No one curled up into a ball after dinner or begged for a little down time.

Yes, there was a dessert served later that evening. And, no, it wasn’t diabetic-friendly. It was my sister’s birthday, and Mom made her favorite: coconut-cream pie. But by avoiding all those carbs earlier in the meal, I enjoyed my slice without too much guilt. And that’s something else for which I’m grateful.

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Have Your Dressing and Cut the Carbs, Too


DiabeticTG-5Dressing or stuffing, for many, is a way of using old bread or rice. Yet you can keep the dish on your Thanksgiving menu and cut back the carbohydrate count.

Cornbread-Sausage Dressing

1 rib celery, minced
1/2 onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
3 mild Italian sausages, casings removed and broken into small pieces
1/2 apple, chopped
1 or 2 stale or toasted cornbread muffins, to taste
1 tablespoon fennel seed
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pan drippings from the roasted turkey or chicken stock

Sauté celery and onion in butter or olive oil, about 5 minutes or until soft. Add sausage and cook until done. As sausage is beginning to turn brown, add apple to mix and stir thoroughly. When sausage is done and apple somewhat soft, crumble the cornbread muffin over the top and stir in. Add fennel, salt and pepper and season to taste. Place in an 8-inch square pan and keep warm until ready to serve. Just before serving, pour pan drippings over the top.

Makes 4-6 servings, depending on how much cornbread you use.

From John Griffin

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